EDMOND — A local preacher said a global spotlight seems to shine on two countries in the Middle East these days.
The Rev. Mark Hitchcock, Ph.D., senior pastor of Faith Bible Church, 600 N Coltrane, said these nations are the focus of his new book “Iran & Israel: Wars and Rumors of Wars (Harvest House Publishers).”
As a Bible scholar who has written numerous books on Bible prophecy (“The End: A Comprehensive Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days” and “The Amazing Claims of Bible Prophecy,” among others), Hitchcock, 53, said he chose Iran and Israel as the central part of his latest book because he said conflict between the two countries appears inevitable. He said Iran appears to be racing to cross “the nuclear finish line” and though the rest of the world may not like it, “everything seems to be headed for a showdown.”
Hitchcock said he examines Iran, which is called Persia in the Bible, and Israel as the two countries are discussed in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. He said a conflict or war between the two countries is one of the signs of the Second Coming of Christ, according to Scripture.
He said events over the last several years foreshadow a coming clash.
“What we see happening today is not fulfilling any prophecies but sets the stage,” Hitchcock said. “It's building up for what is going to happen in the future.”
Hitchcock said he wanted to shine the spotlight on this prophecy because conflicts in these countries have been in the headlines in recent years and he wants people to be aware of what the Bible says about a clash between the two. More than anything, Hitchcock said he wants people to be ready for Jesus' return.
“My ultimate purpose with the book is to let people see how events in our world are foreshadowing things that are coming,” he said.
He said many people become afraid when they hear Bible prophecies that foretell of wars and calamities, but he said prophesies were given by the Lord not to scare people but to prepare them.
“God hasn't left us in the dark about what is going to happen in the future. He has everything under control and that should bring us comfort,” Hitchcock said.
And he said he encourages people who are concerned about world events and biblical prophecies to pray about their concerns.
“One of the things we need to be doing is praying for our leaders, praying for President (Barack) Obama and praying for the leaders of the Middle East,” Hitchcock said. “We don't just want to wait and sit around and wring our hands.”